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Amazon and Walmart Race to Integrate Commerce and Content

As shopping and entertainment become increasingly intertwined, Amazon and Walmart are looking for new ways to drive sales via content.

On Tuesday (April 16), Amazon Live announced a new interactive, shoppable channel called FAST Channel on Prime Video and Amazon Freevee, featuring the eCommerce giant’s “shop the show” technology, enabling viewers to shop and engage with the content they’re watching on their TV on their mobile devices.

“With the new ‘Amazon Live’ FAST Channel on Prime Video and Freevee, we’re making shoppable entertainment more accessible, interactive and engaging than ever before,” Wayne Purboo, vice president of Amazon Shopping Videos, said in a statement.

Amazon is not the only retail behemoth tapping streaming to encourage sales. Late last year, Walmart announced a collaboration with TikTok and Roku to launch its first shoppable series. Modeled after the standard Hallmark holiday movie formula — professional woman finds love around Christmastime upon returning to the town where she grew up — the 23-part “Add to Heart” series offered consumers the option to purchase the products they saw on screen.

Also in November, the retailer shared that it was expanding its shoppable TV footprint via a new partnership with NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform, enabling viewers of “Below Deck Mediterranean,” a reality series about the crew of a superyacht, to buy themed products during “shoppable episodes.”

Indeed, a significant share of consumers is open to shoppable media, according to PYMNTS Intelligence’s “How We Will Pay Report: How Connected Devices Enable Multitasking Among Digital-First Consumers,” which drew from a survey of more than 4,600 U.S. consumers.

The report revealed that, among the 95% of consumers who own connected devices, one-third would be interested in an internet-connected buying experience wherein, if they are watching a live-streamed series on an iPad or mobile device and they want to purchase an item of clothing or jewelry that they see on an actor, they can touch the screen to navigate to the product page and complete the purchase.

Additionally, the study found that more than three-quarters of consumers used connected devices in the previous month while engaged in leisure activities, and of those, 1 in 3 used them to shop.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Bryan Quinn, president and co-founder at Shopsense AI, argued that entertainment properties strongly influence consumers’ purchasing. For instance, he credited Yellowstone with the growing popularity of Carhartt. As such, Fishback added, the media companies behind these properties, having paid to make the content, should “have the first bite of the apple” when it comes to the retail sales it generates.

For Amazon and Walmart, these moves enable the two companies to grow their relevance in consumers’ day-to-day lives. The PYMNTS Intelligence study Whole Paycheck Report: New Consumer Spend Data Finds Amazon Way Ahead of Walmart, estimates each of the two retailers’ market shares in various categories based on years of earnings reports in conjunction with national data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis, found that, as of Q4 2023, Amazon held a 4.4% share of total consumer spending, while Walmart held 3%.